The Herd – “Your First Album”
On a weekly to bi-weekly basis (depending our motivation) Dead Horse March will be giving its contributors a music related prompt to answer. They will cover a variety of topics and will hopefully act as a window into our minds, hearts, and souls, showing what we like and the path that led us there.
For our first week we are going to start from the beginning and ask our contributors what their First Tape, CD or Vinyl was and what exactly they can remember about it and how it might have shaped their future musical tastes. (We would love to hear about your firsts as well so let us know in the comments section below!)
Erica: Eve 6, First Self-Titled Album
“I would swallow my pride, I would choke on the rinds,but the lack thereof would leave me empty inside”…”I alone am the one you don’t know you need take heed, feed your ego. Make me blind when your eyes close, sink when you get close, tie me to the bedpost.”
These lyrics, from “Inside Out,” obviously could not better express my emotional state and sexual frustration as a prepubescent 8 year-old. I remember really letting loose the second my parents walked out the door and it was just me and the babysitter, playing pogs all day. I cranked up this song as loud as it could go on the family boom box and then I retreated to the living room couches to show my babysitter what I was really made of. Immediately as the song commenced, I was airborne and pouncing like a kangaroo all up and down that sofa. You should’ve seen me let loose. It was like all the stress from my intensive school day full of counting numbers, coloring pictures, and spittin’ made ABC’s had just expelled out of me through interpretive dance. I guess you could say this song really was a creative outlet for me and quite monumental in my growth as an artist. Thanks Eve 6, you’ve really changed my life.
Alex: Sister Hazel – …Somewhere More Familiar
I’m not 100% sure what my very first album was. I definitely remember that I had a Batman Soundtrack and a handful of random tapes (probably Weird Al). The first CD I can really remember owning though was the 1997 Gainesville, Florida Alternative Rock/Post-Grunge album …Somewhere More Familiar by Sister Hazel. Like most CD’s from the 90’s …Somewhere More Familiar only had 1 song that I liked on it, but boy did I like that song. “All For You” was the biggest hit of Sister Hazel’s career making it all the way to the coveted #1 spot on the Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks.
I’m not quite sure what 9 year old Alex liked so much about this song because looking at the lyrics now; I don’t think there is any way I was relating to them. Unless of course I had some really important grade school relationship things I was going through. A possibility since “Truly, Madly, Deeply” by Savage Garden was another one of my favorites/firsts from that year. I’m not that embarrassed about having this as one of my first CD’s. I’m not exactly a “Hazelnut” or anything now but if I’m with my friends and we are getting our 90’s on by watching old music videos on youtube, I’ll always throw up some Sister Hazel.
Ben: Livin’ In The 90’s – 1997
1. “Right Here, Right Now” – Jesus Jones, 2. “Unbelievable” – EMF, 3. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – Proclaimers, 4. “U Can’t Touch This” – MC Hammer, 5. “Jump Around” – House Of Pain, 6. “Tennessee” – Arrested Development, 7.”Ice, Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice, 8. “How Do You Talk To An Angel?” – Heights, 9. “I Touch Myself” – Divinyls, 10. “I’m Too Sexy” – Right Said Fred, 11. “To Be With You” – Mr. Big, 12.”Joyride” – Roxette, 13. “One More Try” – Timmy T., 14. “Hold On” – Wilson Phillips, 15. “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasy)” – Us3, 16. “Summertime” – DJ Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince, 17. “Sex Me” – R. Kelly.
This was the first album I owned, and it was a tape I begged my mom to buy me off an infomercial called “Livin’ in the 90’s.” It was one where they showed three second snippets of music videos for the featured songs and – “It was $19.99 for a limited time only!” It was a collection of all the hits from the 90’s and I’m pretty positive the selling point for me was when I saw that “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice was on there. It was rap, and that was forbidden at my tender age of 9 because it was mostly inappropriate. My mom was just trying to protect my vulnerable and ripping young mind because she was probably worried her baby boy would grow up to be a dirty rock singer.
After I bought the CD, I found there was much much more to discover. “500 Miles” by the Proclaimers, “Jump Around” by House of Pain, and “Hold On” by Wilson Philips were just some of the hits it had to offer. “Unbelievable” by EMF which I’m having a really hard time grasping. They were an odd group, what are they? Who are the EMF’s of today? They’re like surf-punk boy band, but they’re innovators and I respek that. In the end though, the song that ended up on repeat was “To Be With You” by Mr. Big. The music video is even better.
Adam: MC Hammer – Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em
There’s isn’t much in my life to brag about, so let me feel cool by stating I was a crib-sittin’ MTV baby from the days of “Yo MTV Raps” to the end of Beavis’ and Butthead‘s original reign. My mother was in her early-twenties when Adam Ant had a cult following of mesmerized post-punk chicks and she decided the day I was born to name me after this almost-made-it-pop/punk-star… I do remember spending hours upon hours watching the VHS collection of Adam Ant and the Ant’s greatest videos. Also, somewhere in the depths of nostalgia is the psychedelic album cover of Dee-Lite’s World Clique in 1990, which was responsible for Q-Tip’s [A Tribe Called Quest] collaboration on the hit song “Groove is in the Heart.”
All of these memories I have to attribute to my mom’s brilliant music taste- not my own. However, in the beginning of 1990 we all endured a catchy hit that put its album at number one for 21 weeks on the Billboard 200. This album, and my personal first, was none other than Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em by MC Hammer. The song that sold me and 18 million other fans to date was “U Can’t Touch This.” I’m proud to have photographic evidence of my early loyalty, in which I’m wearing harem pants, or parachute pants. These pants are also known as Hammer pants thanks to the “Master of Ceremonies” himself. Those pants really brought out the best in dance moves! I can only imagine the “U Can’t Touch This” portion of tape in the cassette had nearly worn through and that’s why it’s now only a distant memory. So in the end, I’ll agree that a deep retrospection of an MC Hammer album is contrived and worthless, but you’re the sucker reading it!
I have urges, as many men do. I am compelled by unknown forces. I am drawn to orchestrate dance rituals, to utilize my surroundings as instruments of expression in these primitive performances, and often to put my “ass upon glass” for other apartment or disco tech dwellers to witness.
In layman’s terms, I like to put techno music on and dance on couches and window sills.
Upon further inspection, I now realize the source of this persistent persuasion, and it stems from my early youth. My first tape was Ace of Base’s 1993 pop-The Sign (or Happy Nation for those readers in Europe) , likely one of the most perfectly produced early-era electronic albums of 3rd grade.
Summer days turned in to summer nights and the dance delights wound ’round those plastic reels kept the rhythm right. Sweet supple ear syrup that went down smooth and left me in a dazed dance-panic, perched like a hawk upon our aging family room sofa, my brother equally enthralled in the tribal trance.
Mother at work, her and my Dad long since divorced. The ultimate freedom found in that acoustic arena, a lullaby-ridden labyrinth of couch cushions, dog days, and these Aces of the Bass. I owe them everything.
Catie: Various – Shine Soundtrack
The first album I purchased myself, that is, the first cd that my mother purchased for me at my bidding, was the motion picture soundtrack to Shine. Comprised almost entirely of classical music – Paganini, Schumann, Chopin, Vivaldi and of course, Rachmaninoff – it was befitting of my rock-collecting, violin-playing eight-year-old self. My musical leanings at that point were toward the strictly instrumental despite spirited attempts by my college-aged sisters to turn me on to mid-nineties sensations like Hootie & the Blowfish and the Indigo Girls. When the sisters found their way home during summers and holidays, the continual in-car battle was centered less on who got to ride shotgun and more on what came out of the speakers. I insisted that the dial be turned to the classical music station, a request that was entertained by my forty-something mother significantly more often than those for top forty stations and the new Dave Matthew’s Band cassette. I maintain that this was the case not because I am the baby and thus the ever-victorious favorite child, but because my taste, even at eight years old, was impeccable.
It’s been a long-standing dream of mine to be the person who puts together the soundtracks for films, but in the case of Shine this role (if it’s even legitimately recognized as such) is moot. The music is the movie, the movie the music. Shine wasn’t just my first exposure to full-frontal male nudity as captured on trampoline with open trench coat, it was the giving of life to what was once simply an agreeable sound to hear. It was the celluloid embodiment of what it means to be moved, nay, to be taken over by musical composition. So much so that an eight-year-old went to great lengths (“Mommy, please?!”) to procure its soundtrack. It’s rare these days that I listen to classical music, but my respect for it remains, as well as its impact on my taste. The structure of a song, its build and release, can still bring me to tears or force me (again & again) to dance myself clean.
What was your first album? Let us know in the comment section below!